on Friday, July 24, 2020
On Thursday, July 16, Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) Animal Services Officers responded to 2 separate animal trauma calls at a Des Moines apartment complex.
At approximately 3:30 a.m. ARL Animal Services Officers were dispatched to assist the Des Moines Police Department (DMPD) with an adult dog who had been disemboweled, but was still alive. Due to the dog’s suffering and the horrific nature of its injuries, the dog was immediately euthanized by ARL officials.
Later that morning at approximately 10:00 a.m. ARL Animal Services Officers were dispatched related to the traumatic death of an 8 week-old kitten on the same property.
Necropsies have been performed on both animals in order to provide additional evidence to support the DMPD’s on-going criminal investigation. The juvenile suspect in this case is being charged with 2 counts of animal torture, an aggravated misdemeanor, among other charges in adult court. More information on the suspect and charges can be obtained from Sgt. Parizek with the DMPD.
“We applaud the Des Moines Police Department for their work in appropriately pursuing the most serious charges possible for this case,” said Tom Colvin, CEO for the ARL.
With the improved animal welfare legislation that went into effect on July 1, the criteria for what constitutes animal torture now only requires that the alleged abuser “intentionally or knowingly inflicted prolonged or repeated physical pain on an animal that caused serious injury or death”. Prior to this change in the law, animal torture charges were extremely difficult to prove and therefore rarely successfully used.
“This change is a huge victory for animal victims and will finally hold their abusers accountable, however, we are disappointed that the lawmakers removed the proposed increased penalty for animal torture as a first offense felony, keeping it as an aggravated misdemeanor. The link between those who abuse animals and abuse people is widely documented and this horrific case illustrates how a misdemeanor as the maximum penalty for what happened to these animals is terribly inadequate,” continued Colvin.